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ing, self-sufficient man, could be brought into a mood of gentleness and humility to desire or to hear a Gospel of forgiveness. Forgive !'he saith, whom forgive ? Redeem! whom redeem? Pardon! whom pardon? Of whom do you hold that impertinent language? You must first shew me whereof I am accused, and of what I am guilty. What law have I broken ? Talk not to me of imprisonment, who am at large; of forgiveness, who am uncondemned; of pardon, who am not arraigned.' Now this is exactly what God hath done by giving the Law before the Gospel, in order to bring the whole world into condemnation, and conclude both Jew and Gentile guilty before him. And therefore the Law should still be preached with thunder and lightning, and other tokens of trembling judgment and out-bursting wrath, as upon Mount Sinai of old.

And as such I do now declare it unto you, ye hypocrites, ye Pharisees, ye generation of vipers! Which of God's commandments have ye not broken, ye fornicators and adulterers ? Ye have set up idols, and bowed down before them; ye have taken the name of God in vain, and profaned his holy day; ye have neglected every duty of children and parents, of inferiors and superiors and equals; ye have murdered the reputation and defiled the chastity of the innocent; ye have been dishonest in your dealings; and ye

have borne false witness. When?' Ye do it continually. That constitution of life which you follow out in the world, is one universal breach of every commandment, either in the letter or in the spirit of it. Your best acts are sinful; your holy things are polluted; you are altogether defiled in your natural man; and the greatest proof of it is, that ye have not yet discovered it. Come, and let us look into the law of God, that you may discover that deformity, that vile deformity, of which hitherto ye know little or nothing. Hast thou said of thy brother, “Thou fool,” without a cause ? that is against thee. Hast thou looked upon the beauty and elegance of woman, to lust after it? that is adultery. Hast thou looked upon any thing that pertaineth to another, to covet it? that is theft. Hast thou done any alms, or other good work, to be seen of man? that is hypocrisy. And hast thou given all honour and glory to God, and hast thou worshipped him only, and in thy eating and drinking hast thou done nothing to please the flesh ? and in thy speaking hast thou said nothing to exalt thyself? O thou vain man! it is thy ignorance, thy dark, blind ignorance, which maketh thee so vaunting. Thou must go to school to learn thyself. And thy schoolmaster—who is thy schoolmaster ?-even the Law, that is thy schoolmaster, to bring thee unto Christ. The Law will scourge thy self-sufficiency to death. Study the Law that is inwoven with the Gospel, and it shall teach thee what a vile body of sin and death thou art. Thy ignorance is fearful; thy remedy is hopeless, if thou wilt not look into the Law, and by the Law be humbled, crucified, and slain. For, as thou well saidst it, Why speak to me of a Saviour, of a Redeemer, and the rest of that Gospel cant, who am in no risk, nor danger, nor captivity, nor death?

Satan moveth these Pharisees to dishonour the Law, by hiding its true spiritual character under their traditionary formalities. They cut and carve it down to the rules of society, and the laws of

the realm, and the natural kindness of the human heart. It is no longer God's express will, unchangeable; but man's variable will, changeable according to every one's humour. It is no longer the awful pale of perfect and pure blessedness, but the fence of every man's conceit. An useless, cumbersome, inconvenient thing, for which man hath no use, and which Heaven will not acknowledge, is this Law, when they have tampered with it after the manner they do. In whose place I would not stand for the gain of the whole world, which "shall pass away before one jot or tittle of the Law shall pass,” though all mankind should conspire to explain it away: and he who shall break the least tittle thereof, or teach men to do so, shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven : nay, but “ he who keepeth the whole Law, and offendeth in one point, is guilty of all.” Who, then, would keep the Law in its honour and purity against these seducers and spoilers, let him believe in the Gospel of Christ, and by faith receive the Spirit of holiness and righteousness; to convince him more and more of sin ; to possess him more and more with the desire of holiness, and beget within him the obedience of God's will and the denial of his own, to create within him a new man, after the image of God, in righteousness and true holiness. Which inward man, formed after the image of Christ, craveth after righteousness, and holdeth the old Adam in continual restraint, and feedeth and groweth upon the word of God as his milk, and delighteth in the law of God as his meat and drink, and “it is sweeter to the taste than honey and the honey-comb." To the spiritual man, which is Christ formed within us the hope of glory, the Father doth come, and the Son and the Holy Ghost doth come, to dwell with him: by whose presence Satan is expelled out of the spirit into the flesh, and there is bound a prisoner till death, whereby captivity is led captive; and at the resurrection the flesh is also delivered, after which we keep the Law without let or hindrance, and are without spot or blemish presented before the throne of God. Thus the Gospel maketh the Law honourable; and thus to all the saints in Christ Jesus we do preach the Law as a rule of life, as a law of liberty and delight: while to the unbelieving and unsanctified world we cease not to preach it as a curse and condemnation and sentence of death.

But these formalists know nothing of all this, nor will hear any thing of it. For why? Because Satan hath ministered from the altar of God fuel to every bitter affection of nature, calling it holy; and they are wrapt up in an all-enveloping mantle of self-righteousness, which they prize dearly, substituting it for the garment of the Redeemer's righteousness. They have no further use for Christ than as a Lawgiver, whose laws they fancy themselves perfect in; as a Saviour, whose salvation they deem it best to be beholden to as seldom as possible. They think that it is to make Christ the pope of indulgences, to expect salvation only through his righteousness : and so they have a terrible hatred of faithful doctrine, as the very sink of religion; which were it to become general, they think would be the end of all order and obedience in human society. And they are Satan's most creditable servants, through whom he ever taketh occasion to wound Christ's members, having always some self-righteous Laud to head the persecution of the true spiritual church. They would welcome Christ into a temple of money-changers and market-makers, which when he addresseth himself to cleanse, straightway they are offended. They make the outside of the platter clean, and are whited sepulchres. I would not speak evil of dignities; but it is necessary to speak the truth in the house of God, and everywhere; and the truth, being spoken in a gracious and loving spirit, is not evil, but good, to every one, and woe unto him who is offended in it!-now the truth obligeth me to declare that this is the miserable condition of the great multitude of our professors, and even ministers, of religion and of our dignitaries, both in church and state : and, which is of great importance to us, it is the evil which most easily doth beset an established church, into which Satan cannot introduce himself by infidelity, or sectarianism, or heresy, and therefore he doth introduce himself by this door of formality and self-righteousness; against which, therefore, seeing the great part of us have been reared under an established church, I do warn you the more earnestly. Not that Satan hath been able to shut your ears against the truth of“ Christ your righteousness,” which indeed our church hath been ever right glad to hear, and our people will bear nothing contrary thereto; but because selfconceit lurketh in the heart, and fasteneth itself around the roots of the plant, which never cometh to any stature or fruitfulness but by the destruction of the old man, whose life consisteth in self-contentment and self-sufficiency. There appertaineth to the children reared up in our church

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